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4.4 out of 5 stars105
4.4 out of 5 stars
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on 9 December 2006
For me, writing a review for "Nighty Night" is essentially like writing out a Valentine's day card for your one true love - no matter how hard you try to express your love, no matter how much you try to avoid cliches in the name of sincerity, you always feel that somehow, words just aren't enough.

Briefly, "On discovering her husband Terry has cancer, beautician Jill Tyrell is eager to move on and find new love. It comes in the form of a bearded doctor, Don Cole. Jill's only obstacles are Terry's return to health and Don's disbaled wife, Cath. But when Jill wants something, she will stop at nothing to get it".

I am going to stick my neck out here and say that, in my opinion, "Nighty Night" is the best programme I have ever seen. Rarely has a sitcom captured such polarity - with such an "unbelievable" leading character on the one hand, yet such a "believable" setting on the other. Throughout my first viewing of the series, I remember thinking that with each episode, the character of Jill became more extreme - from the somewhat "tactless" visit to the dating agency in the first episode when her husband is supposedly dying of cancer, to the audacity of buying raw meat and presenting it as Terry's not-so-dead body later on in the series: just when you think that Jill can't get any worse, she always does. Only a truly brilliant show can have you warming to such an unbelievably unlikeable character - only a truly brilliant show can make you laugh out loud so much, make you feel embarrassed for the characters (think of Terry's funeral) and even make you gag through the use of what, in the end, is only your imagination (think of the scene where Glenn supposedly has a "stool" in a plastic bag).

Despite Jill's supposed "unbelievability", the show still manages to remain "believable" through it's supporting cast of characters that we can all identify with. All of us know someone who is self-centred, thoughtless, and willing to go to any length to get what they want (though, unlike Jill, few of us know anyone who would kill to achieve their ends). Many of us can identify with the character of Cath - a woman with immense patience, always prepared to see the glass as being "half-full", far more tolerant of other people's misgivings than most of us would be. Some of us know a Don-like figure - oozing professionalism through their choice of career, but deeply flawed in their private life: no doubt, a few people reading this review have Glenn-like qualities - naive (and therefore vulnerable) but ultimately possessing a heart-of-gold. The only character I found it hard to identify with was Sue. When I watched "Nighty Night" the first time, I remember thinking that there was more to her than initially meets the eye. Although, on the surface, she seems to be morality personified (being the Vicar's wife and, ultimately, trying to protect Cath from Jill's overbearing presence), there was something about her that didn't quite sit right with me. For those of you who felt the same on watching it - I would urge you to watch the second series as it seems that Julia Davis deliberately left the door open for character development here.

I cannot finish this review without making two final points. Firstly, despite there being a truly outstanding supporting cast here, five stars should go to Julia Davis alone - not only for casting herself in the role of such a tyrant, but also for really capturing the essence of Jill through her mouth-watering one-liner's, choice of wardrobe and body language. Finally, the sound-track is well thought-out, with each song being specifically chosen to capture the spirit of the moment: look out for Gabrielle's "Don't Need the Sun to Shine", always played when Don does finally manage to get "some quiet time", also look out for the darkly ironic DVD-edited inclusion of "I'll Stand by You" at Terry's funeral - something which in the end, Jill never really did.
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on 8 April 2006
This was shown late at night on satelite TV in NZ. I caught the final of series one and was immediatley taken with 'Glen'. It was not unheard of for my household to quote Glen ("doctors lie") and try to master his facial tic. We still try.
Sometime later I was browsing satelite TV and came across Glen again. I had stumbled on to episode 1 of the second series. I ended up watching this series and laughed my pants off. This was soooooooo briliant I just had to order the DVD of series one. All reviews I had read had placed series 1 as the funniest, so I was really looking forward to this. Series 1 is great, however series 2 is far more outrageous and funny in my book. Perhaps because I saw it first and it held it's own. Vague memories of the final episode of series 1 helped make series 2 understandable. So I am pre-ordering series 2 - got to have that too!
I love all the quotable quotes in this series and now get stange looks at work (as no one else has seen it). I rave about it at work to the point where people think I am nuts.
If you haven't seen this series yet, you need to make sure you do. This has got to be on the top 10 list of things to do before you die :-). Nighty Night is a very clever, well thought out comedy, with perfect timing and acting. Excellent visual gags support the precise and deliberate dialogue of the script. The more you watch it the better it gets. You can watch the same episode again and again and again and not get tired of it. When you go away it invades your thoughts, again getting funnier and funnier and funnier. I rate it up there with The Young Ones and The Office. Pushing boundries and getting away with it. (Although I found it difficult to find the Bruce situation in series 2 funny). I am sure the more I watch of series 1, the more I will rate it as highly as I rate series 2.
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on 15 July 2005
Nighty Night is quite possible the sickest and funniest television programme to have ever been made.
It centres on Jill who is the owner of a suburban beauty salon. She has other things on her mind, namely the handsome doctor who lives in the house opposite with his wife, a wheelchair user.
Jill claims her hospitalised husband is dying of a terminal cancer and so descends on the life of the unfortunate neighbours and refuses to leave. She very quickly announces that her husband, who is alive, has passed away.
On paper, this probably sounds vile and to a large extent it is - but in a way that will have you laughing uncontrollably.
We can but hope that Julia Davis somehow manages to make a second series. Can't see how considering the ending, but we can live in hope....
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on 18 January 2012
I was recommended to try this comedy series by a friend as we share a slightly dark sense of humour, and ordered both the first and second series. As I watched them both in fairly quick succession I am not going to differentiate - they were both quite funny and very original, with appropriate twists to keep the plot interesting. The characters are particularly strong, with a good cast and good building of the main characters as the series continues.

The subject matter is challenging in places and clearly not for the faint-hearted, but this is the basis of the jokes, so if you enjoy dark comedy then this will appeal to you. I think the highest commendation I can give is that once I started watching it I ended up watching the entire two series in one weekend.
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on 20 January 2006
I've been a fan of Julia Davis since "Human Remains". She is an amazing actress, and even when she does small parts - "Love Actually" and "Wilbur Wants to Kill Himself" spring to mind - she fills them with such intensity they become unforgettable. Her first venture into a kind of more narrative comedy ("Human Remains" was, after all, a series of fake documentaries) is this detailed and demented soap opera, brilliantly structured, written, filmed and performed, which manages to break several comedic taboos and taking dark comedy to a whole new level. This is so refined that we almost forget we're watching a TV series. At its best, "Nighty Night" feels like the best indie comedy film that was never made. All the actors are amazing, but Mark Gatiss (from The League of Gentlemen) excels as the ultimate lonely weirdo. A TV masterpiece. Can't wait to see the rest of this story in season 2.
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on 14 November 2012
Loved this series so much when it first came on, has no choice to buy the boxset on here, and it's pretty cheap. I've already watched it several times. Julia Davis is a ledgend :)
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on 27 December 2012
Julia Davis is a genius.

Exceptionally well written, casted brilliantly. Edgy and awkward comedy at its best.

This is without question one of my favourite series ever made, up there with Fawlty Towers and Hunderby.
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on 11 November 2007
Nighty night is a dark comedy set in the west country of England,it is written and created by julia davis who also stars as jill,a woman so evil,it is unlikely that she can be compared to anyone in tv before her.
The idea behind the show is that jills husband,terry,has been diagnosed with cancer,it doesnt look good for him,as soon as this is known,jill heads to a dating agency,thats callous hey,no other way of putting it.She heads out on date with a loser called glen,she leaves him sitting in the restaurant but he keeps reappearing,all the while,a new family move in across from jill,husband don,played with pomp by angus deayton,yes,the same angus,and his wife who has M.S who he spends alot of time caring for.Jill soon falls for don and stops at nothing and i mean nothing to get him,she wants his wife out of the picture.
The show is extremely cringe worthy,far more so that the office,jill is filled with spite and nasty jibes but all the while she is an anti-hero of sorts,and wait to you see what happens to her ill husband terry and what she does about that.
The supporting cast are all key here as well,all contributing fine laughs and head in hand embarrasment for them.This is excellently writtem,very dark,very sinister and very funny and awkward and who couldnt help but take to a show that has the theme tune to the classic film 'my name is nobody' as its theme,vital,yes,you heard me,vital.
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on 27 April 2015
I have watched this time and time again! I've had two copies of the DVD and now a digital streaming version for my Amazon Fire Stick. It's twisted, sick and dark. Shocking and funny would be two words that summerise the whole series.

Julia Davis has created a sociopath charactor that you cannot help but love to admire, and never want to be in your life. Jill Tyrell pushes every boundry possible in just a few episodes and we are left wanting more. Thank god there was a 2nd series!

Utterly and utterly sublime!
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on 12 July 2012
I could never understand why this series never seemed to really take off. Ok, it can be a bit near the knuckle at times. But it's so funny and the characters are great. I just love Linda! For me, it's up there with Fawlty Towers and Ab Fab. I can watch it over and over and it always makes me laugh. Will be getting series 2, which also has some great classic moments. One episode in particular always has me and my family in stitches. "Peas going in now, Jill."! Get it. You won't regret it!
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